Winning New Business By Playing Hard-to-Get

Posted May 23, 2013

You’re having a night out with friends and pass by two nightclubs.  The first one has a guy out in front handing out 2-for-1 drink coupons to every passer by, trying to waive you into the club.  The second nightclub has a red velvet rope blocking the entrance, and is guarded by a doorman who, [...]

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Landing the $1 Million Event

Posted April 16, 2013

At some point in your tenure, if you run an event planning company or agency, you’ll aspire to land the really big project, the mega event, the million dollar event.  OK, it doesn’t have to be a million dollars; it can be $100,000, $250,000, etc.  The number is variable; the key element is that the [...]

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Giving Away Your Ideas to Win New Business

Posted March 28, 2013

A few people are going to steal your ideas.

Not a lot, and certainly not as many as people might think, but a few will. Yet whatever that number is, it pales in comparison to the number of people who will hire you, recommend you, and rave about you as a result of the ideas you shared freely.

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Confessions Of A Blogger In Hiding: Lessons In Losing Your Creativity

Posted March 14, 2013

My name is Howard Givner.
I’m a blogger.
It’s been 13 months since my last blog post. (This is where you all say in unison, “Hi Howard”).

As I write this, I feel like I’m at the podium at an AA meeting, pressed to explain why I haven’t posted in over a year. In thinking about it, I can break it down into a 3 step process.

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The Fallacy of Win-Win Negotiations

Posted February 13, 2012

In the past ten years or so, any article, seminar or blog post on negotiations seems to focus on “kinder, gentler, negotiations”. It’s all “win-win” negotiations now, and nobody gets the better of anybody.  Planner and supplier discuss their needs, and work out a kumbaya-style agreement, after which they stroll arm and arm into the [...]

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“Everyone Has A Plan Until They Get Punched In The Mouth”

Posted January 30, 2012

Reporter:  “I hear your opponent has a clever plan for defensing your left hook.  How do you respond?” (Heavyweight boxing champ) Mike Tyson:  “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” How great is that quote?  Tyson, of course, was known far more for his fierce punching power, intimidating stare, and occasional [...]

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Looking At Your Operation with Fresh Eyes

Posted December 23, 2011

Yahoo is in trouble.  This one-time colossus of the internet world, that was for many years the darling of investors, has lost its way.  After firing CEO Carol Bartz in September, the Board of Directors Business launched a strategic review of the company.  Business pundits say it has time for one more CEO change, and [...]

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The Association is Dead. Long Live the Association.

Posted November 30, 2011

“Remind me why I should renew my membership again?” This is a phrase every association is grappling with, and how they respond now will determine whether they survive or slowly die out. Twenty years ago if you wanted education and networking opportunities within your profession, associations were the place to go. In fact, they were [...]

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Steve Jobs, Calligraphy & Crowd-Sourcing

Posted October 6, 2011

You know that game where you fantasize about whom you’d invite to a dinner party?  Well, Steve Jobs was always high on my list.  (Along with Winston Churchill).  When I heard that he died, I felt a tremendous sense of sadness and loss.  Jobs was someone who saw a better way to do things, a [...]

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Telling Truth to Power (Clients)

Posted October 2, 2011

“The customer is always right,” is a mantra we hear so often that it’s become canonized as one of the first rules of business.  Alas, like most sweeping generalizations, it is also blindly misapplied.  For while it might make plenty of sense in retail, when it comes to consulting (or event planning), it can ruin [...]

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Getting Your Business to that Elusive ‘Next Level’

Posted September 22, 2011

When you’re in school they make it pretty clear what it takes for you to move up to the next grade: do your homework, pass your finals and maintain a certain grade point average, and off you go.  Out in the workplace, it gets a little harder, but in most companies you can also find [...]

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If the Events Industry Disappeared Tomorrow, Would It Matter?

Posted September 11, 2011

What we do in the events industry doesn’t matter in the world.  Well, not much anyway.  If you’re waiting for my typical sarcastic follow up line, it’s not coming.  Sorry. That’s what the ten year anniversary of 9/11, or any truly sobering moment, does to me.  It makes me realize how little what we do [...]

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Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time

Posted September 2, 2011

If you’re like me, you’re constantly frustrated by not getting all the things done that are on your To Do list.  Figuring out what to do is the easy part for us, and we simply assume that putting it on that list is all it takes to ensure completion.  Bzzzzz!  Wrong answer!  Johnny, show our [...]

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Failing Up: The Blessing of Mistakes

Posted August 23, 2011

Mistakes are part of the human condition.  By nature we are utterly imperfect beings.  Eventually, we screw up in everything we do: relationships, finances, business, you name it.  We can’t help it. What we can help, however, is how we react to these mistakes.  We can blame them on others, on circumstance, on getting a [...]

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The Debrief From Hell

Posted August 10, 2011

Tips For Having A Successful Post-Event Debriefing. You’re sitting across the table from your client, pleasantly chatting about the event you produced for them two weeks ago.  You’ve got lots of ideas on how to make it even better next year, and are even thinking about whether you should raise your fee next time, when [...]

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